Kippo, a Dating App For Gamers, Enters the Metaverse

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Kippo, a Dating App For Gamers, Enters the Metaverse
Image courtesy of Kippo

Gamers’ favorite dating app is taking romance into the metaverse.

Los Angeles-based Kippo has unveiled an update to its app, called Kippo 2.0, that allows users to create avatars and make connections through an in-app virtual world.

“Our vision always was to create a very immersive experience,” Kippo co-founder and CEO David Park told dot.LA. “Dating should be fun, meeting people should be fun, and all of that is bundled into what Kippo 2.0 is going to be.”

Gaming is still core to Kippo’s mission. The company says that 93% of its users played games together before meeting in person. Most users would exchange gamer tags before exchanging phone numbers. But with the 2.0 update, users are incentivized to stay in the app and communicate through the new game-like interface.

Park said that Kippo is focused on monetizing the app’s cosmetic features, such as clothing and accessories that users can buy to style their avatars. “We think about all the experiences that humans have in the physical world and [how we can] bring them onto a digital platform,” he said.

The refreshed app will feature Kippo Arcade, a virtual world that allows users’ avatars to participate in shared experiences, like go-kart racing and soccer games. Park noted that Kippo doesn’t need to only function as a tool for romance; it can also help users meet new friends.

“Bars don't call themselves ‘dating bars’ and parties don't call themselves ‘dating parties,’” he said. “As soon as you create a dating party or a dating event, it loses all of its cool factor right away and it feels like there's this agenda.”

Kippo also stands out for its cost—or lack thereof. While other dating apps have plenty of features, many of them require payment to access. (Bumble, for instance, makes users pay in order to extend the 24-hour window in which they can match.) Park said his app “offer[s] more for free than any other dating app, and our goal long-term is to make more and more features free.”

“Imagine if Facebook had a paywall, or Instagram had a paywall, or TikTok had a paywall,” he continued. “It's just not the same.”

To date, Kippo has raised $4.5 million in funding from investors including Jason Calacanis of Launch, according to the company.

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Greater Good Health Raises $10M To Fix America’s Doctor Shortage

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

Greater Good Health Raises $10M To Fix America’s Doctor Shortage
Courtesy of Greater Good Health

The pandemic highlighted what’s been a growing trend for years: Medical students are prioritizing high-paying specialty fields over primary care, leading to a shortage of primary care doctors who take care of a patient’s day-to-day health concerns. These physicians are a cornerstone of preventative health care, which when addressed can lower health care costs for patients, insurers and the government. But there’s a massive shortage of doctors all over the country, and the pipeline for primary care physicians is even weaker.

One local startup is offering a possible answer to this supply squeeze: nurse practitioners.

On Wednesday, Manhattan Beach-based Greater Good Health unveiled $10 million in new funding led by LRVHealth, adding to $3 million in seed funding raised by the startup last year. The company employs nurse practitioners and pairs them with doctor’s offices and medical clinics; this allows nurse practitioners to take on patients who would otherwise have to wait weeks, or even months, to see a doctor.

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Plus Capital Partner Amanda Groves on Celebrity Equity Investments

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
PLUS Capital​’s Amanda Groves.
Courtesy of Amanda Groves.

On this episode of the L.A. Venture podcast, Amanda Groves talks about how PLUS Capital advises celebrity investors and why more high-profile individuals are choosing to invest instead of endorse.

As a partner at PLUS, Groves works with over 70 artists and athletes, helping to guide their investment strategies. PLUS advises their talent roster to combine their financial capital with their social capital and focus on five investment areas: the future of work, future of education, health and wellness, the conscious consumer and sustainability.

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